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The Tempest

The Tempest Translation Act 5, Epilogue

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PROSPERO speaks.

PROSPERO

Now my charms are all o'erthrown, And what strength I have’s mine own, Which is most faint. Now, ’tis true, I must be here confined by you, Or sent to Naples. Let me not, Since I have my dukedom got And pardoned the deceiver, dwell In this bare island by your spell, But release me from my bands With the help of your good hands. Gentle breath of yours my sails Must fill, or else my project fails, Which was to please. Now I want Spirits to enforce, art to enchant, And my ending is despair, Unless I be relieved by prayer, Which pierces so that it assaults Mercy itself and frees all faults. As you from crimes would pardoned be, Let your indulgence set me free.

PROSPERO

Now my spells are all finished, and the strength that I have left is just my own—which is quite weak. Now, it's true, I'll either be kept in this place by you, the audience, or get to go to Naples. Please, since I have gotten back my dukedom and forgiven the one who betrayed me, do not keep me here on this deserted island with your spells. Instead, use your hands to applaud, and free me from my constraints. Your kind cheers will fill the sails of my ship, or else I will have failed to reach my goal, which was to please you. Now I lack both spirits to command, and also the ability to do magic. I'll end up in despair unless my request touches your compassion, and you forgive all the faults of this production. Just as you would be forgiven for your sins, be generous in your response to our play, and set me free.

He exits.

The tempest
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Ben florman
About the Translator: Ben Florman

Ben is a co-founder of LitCharts. He holds a BA in English Literature from Harvard University, where as an undergraduate he won the Winthrop Sargent prize for best undergraduate paper on a topic related to Shakespeare.